Those of you who have been to St Mark’s Square in Venice will be astonished to know that there is more expensive than that! You can easily pay ten pounds for a coffee there – especially if there are musicians playing. There’s no way round it, really – if you go in to the café, order and drink your coffee at the bar it’s considerably cheaper, but you can’t take in the amazing view. So – gird your loins and just do it the once. Make sure you stay and soak up the atmosphere and think of the minutes you’re paying for rather than the drink.
In the main, it seems to be that passing coffee through an animal makes it more expensive, significantly more expensive. Unfortunately, there are now farms with civets in cages to serve the burgeoning demand. The story used to be that civets were able to identify the very best beans, not sure that’s even true – but at least they roamed free. Kopi Luwak is one of the best-known civet coffees.
If you’re in London, pop in to Le Café Alain Ducasse in London you can have a coffee for £3.50. You can also have one for £15. It’s from Yemen, don’t put milk in it. Apparently it’s very nice and as it’s served in a pot you could share it between two of you.
If you’d rather brew your own, there are plenty of expensive options you can go for – Finca el Injerto, for example. It’s made from small, rare, rich beans and comes in at a staggering £380 for 450g of beans. The most expensive coffee you’re likely to see in mainstream shops is Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee which is around £50 for 450g.
And then there’s Black Ivory Coffee – it reviews really well: five stars. And it’s a snip at £76.70 for a packet of the lovely stuff. (Maybe a wee bit cheaper on Amazon.) And that packet will make four espressos. The website also sells 1kg boxes containing 29 packets which will set you back £1,534.02. (Yes, that two pence is important!) Here’s why it’s so pricey. The very best Thai arabica cherries are picked at a height of 1,500 metres and taken to Surin in Thailand where they are fed to elephants. Between 12 and 72 hours later the elephant will make a deposit which contains the now partially digested cherries which are washed and dried at the local school.
The largest and the best-looking are then selected to be roast. The taste, they say, is distinctive. If you can’t justify the expense, just pop in to a five-star hotel or a Michelin-starred restaurant and ask for a cuppa as that’s where most of it goes.
The most expensive coffee we sell is a delicious Kenyan cup called ‘I just don’t know what to brew with myself’ – it’s less than a tenner and really is very good. They say you get what you pay for; however, we don’t believe there’s a real need for some of the ridiculously-priced coffee that’s on the market. Pay for quality, of course – but don’t pay through the nose (or the other end of an animal).